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The Rehabilitation Act / ADA –

Now that I can show I am disabled and can perform the essential functions of my job how much does my federal agency employer have to pay to accommodate my disability?

This is a very interesting question indeed! When it comes to reasonable accommodation the agency must accommodate you with an accommodation that is effective but not necessarily the best accommodation.

In other words, if you are deaf and you require an interpreter you cannot necessarily chose your favorite sign language interpreter or the sign language interpreter service and you cannot necessarily chose the best online interpreter product. As long as the interpreter is competent and can provide you with accurate interpreter service the agency has done its duty.

The key phrase to look at here is whether the agency can claim that accommodating you is an undue hardship. If so, they do not need to accommodate you. But what does an undue hardship really mean? I recommend looking at: the EEOC’s own web site and search for Enforcement Guidance: SeeEnforcement Guidance: Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Number 915.002, October 17, 2002.

Stay tuned … more on what the EEOC considers an undue hardship in the next post…I know you can’t wait!

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Eric L. Pines is a nationally recognized federal employment lawyer, mediator, and attorney business coach. He represents federal employees and acts as in-house counsel for over fifty thousand federal employees through his work as a federal employee labor union representative.

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